Does restoration fix everything ?
Unfortunatly, no. There can be thousands of pops and clicks on a record. When we restore a record we have to decide how severe the pops and clicks are, and how much correction to apply to the music with our software. See Trade-offs below.
Listed below are some of the limitations. We want our customers to be informed. Please familiarize yourself with these limitations and write or call us if you have any questions. The quality of our work is 100% guaranteed, but this guarantee does not apply to defects that are impossible to fix, such as those described below:
- Unplayable disks: Please do not send disks that are cracked or otherwise unplayable.
- Off-center hole: Some LP's have the center hole slightly off-center. These records will play with the pitch varying slightly at each revolution.
- Skips: If the record "skips" on your machine, it may "skip" on our machines. If the needle skips forward we will continue processing. If the record skips in place we will push the needle gently into the next groove. We will repeat this a few times until the needle will track again. Some discontinuity may be noticed. We may not detect if the needle has skipped only a few times and then continued. If any of these conditions are not acceptable, please do not submit records that skip.
- Severe scratches: We routinely eliminate 50,000 to 100,000 clicks, pops and scratches per record. Most clicks are completely eliminated, however, if the scratch is very severe (the underlying music is gone for a considerable amount of time) there will be a trace of a "pop" in the restored version.
- Distortion: There are many types of distortion and possible causes: over modulation at recording, defective microphones or recording equipment, faulty stamping or quality control when the record was pressed, playing the record with a worn needle or with improper tracking force. A distortion becomes part of the sound. The computer and filtering software can not detect what is distorted and what is not. Therefore, if your source recording is distorted, the restored copy will also be distorted only the sound will be "cleaner".
- Tape Hiss: Most cassette tapes anmd reel tapes will have varying degrees of tape "hiss" that can be very annoying. We can reduce or completely elimnate it depending on the severity. DATs generally are fine.
- Tape baking: A lot of tape manufactured in the mid 1970's to early 1980's is starting to come out of storage now for re-mixing and re-issue, and engineers are finding that it won't play. The surface of the tape has become gummy and it sticks to the heads and fixed guides of the tape transport, squealing, jerking, and, in extreme cases, slowing down or stopping the tape transport. This problem has cropped up on all brands of tape, but is nearly
always fixable, at least temporarily by baking the tape.
- Intense computer processing of very degraded signals may result in music that sounds somewhat muted. It is a much more enjoyable experience to listen to a clean sounding recording, but somewhat muted, as opposed to a recording with severe hiss, crackles and pops.
- There are cases when a recording sounds clean for the most part, and needs a less drastic approach in restoration in order to preserve the "liveliness" of the original recording. In this case it is more desirable to apply less processing, which may leave some occasional imperfections more audible. We would like our customers to be aware of these trade-offs.
- Inferior quality home or commercial recording: Some customers prefer to record their records onto a cassette, and send us the cassette for processing. Please be aware that if the cassette is recorded with inferior equipment (noisy turntable or cassette recorder) the resulting CD will also be of inferior quality. It is impossible to make a perfect CD out of a technically inferior recording. This also applies to inferior commercial recordings with metallic, thin sound, recordings with bad sibilants, recordings badly mixed. We can not create frequencies that have never been recorded and can not re-mix a recording.